COLUMBIA, S.C. — State officials say they need more case workers to deal with child abuse in South Carolina.

The State newspaper reported that Department of Social Services Director Susan Alford told a Senate panel said Wednesday that there has been a 68 percent increase in child abuse and neglect cases in South Carolina.

Alford is asking state lawmakers for an additional $51 million, mostly to hire more than 250 new caseworkers.

Lexington Sen. Katrina Shealy pointed out that lawmakers have provided more money for caseworkers without seeing progress in staffing.

Alford said her department has hired more caseworkers but is having trouble keeping them.

She said almost 8 percent of her current positions are vacant. Alford also said many case workers are handing more than 50 cases, twice the recommended caseload.


Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com